09 Nov 2010

Sneak Peek at DC-3

Photo Courtesy of Claudia Holwill

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to DC-3 for a sneak peek tonight. I love me some encased meats – I dream about Hot Doug’s in Chicago – but I didn’t really know how the Matchbox/Ted’s team would interpret the hot dog. I knew the American classic was in good hands, I was just curious to see what they’d do with it.

I ordered the Chicago 7 — it seemed like the way to go on a menu full of regional specialties ranging from a Jersey Bacon Wrapped Ripper to a NY Coney to a Rochester White Snappy Griller (and yes, they use Zweigle’s white hots) to a Maine Red Snappy (yup – Kayem Red-Hots). When it arrived I smiled because there before me was the poppy seed bun, the Vienna Beef hot dog, the sport peppers, the tomato, the onions, the pickle spear, the yellow mustard, the celery salt and that unnaturally green relish (and no f*%#ing ketchup!). It certainly looked right (I could almost hear the Wieners Circle ladies shouting obscenities at me), so I dug in right away and was rewarded that snap, that crunch and that barrage of flavor. I finished it without even offering my companions a bite! Looking around at their choices, the Jersey ripper (so named because it’s deep fried and the skin rips apart in the process), the vegetarian California Left Winger and the Tuscon Sonoran I had zero ordering envy. While I look forward to working my way through the menu, it’s going to be hard to resist that perfect Chicago 7.

Photo Courtesy of Claudia Holwill

We also ordered some Frips (neither fries, nor chips – but really they’re really thin waffle fries and they’re good) and the fried pickles (tasty, but too much batter for me). The corn dog also got high marks. We washed down our dogs and sides with beers — I saw PBR, Allagash, Smuttynose and 21st Amendment available in bottles and cans. No one had room for dessert, but there’s soft serve and cotton candy for the sweet tooths (teeth?) out there.

I know a lot of you are going to scoff at the prices (about $5 for a dog) but I left full and look forward to going back. After all, these are a step or twelve above your average cart-on-the-Mall fare.

I asked if they were going to stay open late to cater to the after-bar crowds, and got a definitive no. They’ll be keeping roughly the same hours as Ted’s – which is definitely a good thing for the waistlines of Capitol Hill.

One caveat — I still smell like the deep fryer, and I’ve been home for a few hours. Not that that’s going to keep me away, but it’s something to consider.

I’ll see you there this weekend — and hopefully I can have the “willpower” to try to the I-talian Beef (one of the non-encased meats on the menu) instead of opting for another Chicago 7!

DC-3 is located at 423 8th Street SE

Photo Courtesy of Claudia Holwill

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  • Tim Krepp

    ketchup is Satan’s condiment.

  • You can order ketchup at DC-3. It’s on the menu as as “ruin it.”

  • $5 a dog isn’t bad considering that’s about how much I paid in Chicago for the real deal.

    If you want to paid $2 for a snausage of mystery-meat go to 7-11 down the street!

  • Mark

    Oh this hits a chord with me, this is powerful and brings back memories of life in Chicagoland. Als Beef offers a Chicago Dog for $2.29; Luke’s comes in at $4.30; Superdawg on Milwaukee Ave is $5.00 The Superdawg comes in a little box w fries and the lifestory of a Superdawg printed on the box. So all in all $5 is ok.

    I hope they are presenting this as a people’s hot dog joint and not a “gourmet” hot dog joint which is a horrendous and lame trend. Some things are just meant to be simple!

    On the beef, is there an option for a full dunk? I want, NEED to know.

  • @Mark it’s a good people’s hot dog joint! Definitely not gourmet or pretentious — it feels like a diner, the food is served in paper baskets, and you have a ton of choices and combination options. I seriously never knew you could do so much with a hot dog.

    My assessment – I think the fries needed to be a bit crispier, and I understand not wanting people to ruin their hot hogs with ketchup but it would have been nice to have some ketchup at the table to put on my fries. The benches are also oddly high off the ground…and likely a bit dangerous for small children. But the dogs were delicious and the fried pickles were fantastic.

  • Awesome. I see they also have italian beef on the menu. Looking forward to give that a try.

    Also, chili halfsmokes at Ben’s are going for $8 without a tip. $5 for a Chicago dog “dragged through the garden” is a good deal.

  • Kyra

    What’s with the “I-talian” named items? Directed at the guys that brought us Matchbox and Ted’s, not Nichole.

  • jindc

    So how does it compare with Hot Doug’s?

  • @jindc it’s kind of apples and oranges. I don’t usually go to Hot Doug’s for classic Chicago style dogs (although I think they do a decent version of that, but I prefer the aforementioned Weiners Circle or Underdogg for those). DC-3 riffs off of regional American classics, keeping the actual encased meats pretty simple. Also, DC-3 doesn’t have duck fat fries.

  • pam

    OMG I Just read the article in the NYT and saw the pics of the Italian Beef. as a chicagoan, I have to know: has anyone tried it? Is it as good as Chicago’s? I have NEVER found Italian Beef outside Chicago and now i must must must must have one.

  • Tim

    I look forward to checking this place out. As a true lover of Chicago dogs/beefs I hope I am not let down. There is a authentic place called Windy City Red Hots in Leesburg, VA that is awesome…just like home.

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